34 days. 14 counties. 4,185 miles.
From the banks of the Mississippi in Calhoun County to the campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the 13th Congressional District is incredibly diverse. When Congress adjourned for the August district work period on August 2nd, my goal was to spend the month traveling to every corner of the district to meet with individuals, families, businesses large and small, groups and organizations to get their stories, thoughts and concerns to take back to Washington.
So in 34 days I visited all 14 counties and travelled 4,185 miles. I held mobile office hours, visited quarries and power plants, stopped by our major universities, held employee roundtables and much, much more. And while the district is huge and diverse, many of the stories I heard were the same.
The families, individuals and businesses that make the 13th District what it is today are incredibly concerned. Concerned about the future of their health care and what it will look like in 4 months. Concerned about keeping their jobs as businesses struggle to keep up with the growing list of demands and regulations from the state and federal governments. Concerned about Congress being able to put aside partisan politics and petty differences to actually do the work we were sent to Washington to do, like finalizing a long-term Farm Bill or passing a responsible budget.
My wife and I have lived in this district nearly our entire lives and we chose to remain here to raise our three kids. Washington has to work better and I intend to be your advocate on behalf of my family and yours. The stories I heard, I heard loud and clear, and I’ve already started sharing them in Washington. The next 4 months in Congress will see us address some major issues, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to see that it gets done.
Thank you to those who met with me while I was back in the district throughout the month of August. It’s an honor to work for you and a responsibility that I do not take lightly.